How To Keep Ducks Out of a Swimming Pool

Barriers, Barkers and More

 Is there a foolproof method to keep ducks out of a swimming pool? Not foolproof, but there is at least one way that we have found to keep waterfowl out of a swimming pool.

What is the biggest downside of waterfowl in your swimming pool? The big problem is the remains that the ducks leave, staining the swim pool bottom and the pool deck.

It's been amusing hearing the stories from our customers about the various items they have used to keep the ducks away--inflatable toys such as dolphins, sharks, people and even snakes.

Unfortunately, the ducks very quickly realize that these inflatables are no threat and are soon back in the pool ,cuddling right up to them. The same is true of rubber snakes and other seemingly scary creatures.

We have also seen several mechanical devices such as owls with wings that flap in the wind or noise makers. Again, the ducks may be scared away for a day or so but quickly return.

Methods to Keep Ducks Out of a Swimming Pool

  • A dog:  Ducks hate dogs and dogs are not fond of ducks. Dogs are one of their natural predators, and barking alone should scare the ducks away. If you have a dog that will go in the water after the ducks, this should do the trick. However, if your dog isn't inclined to swim, the ducks will just swim around out of its reach.  NOTE: If you do get a dog or have just gotten a puppy, take it in the pool and teach it where the pool steps are located. This is important even if your dog is not inclined to go swimming. If your dog should fall in, it won't be able to pull itself out over the edge. Also keep in mind that swimming pools with vinyl liners may be damaged by a dog's nails.
  • Solar cover: While keeping your pool heated and devoid of debris, they also prevent ducks from swimming and pooping in your water (though there may be excrement on the cover). You can also try bird netting, available hardware stores and garden centers. It's fairly inexpensive and you can simply lay it over the surface of the pool and use bricks or sandbags to hold the edges down. You might not even need to cover the whole pool to deter them. (However, be prepared to untangle a bird if necessary.)  You could also try plastic sheeting or tarp.
  • Poor Cleaner: Ducks are frightened very easily and they fear predators. An underwater automatic pool cleaner could look like a moving predator and scare them away.
  • Duck Off: This is a pool chemical made by the Lo-Chlor company and it  breaks the surface tension of the water so that ducks can't float on the surface. However, if you don't like putting unneeded chemicals in the pool, try one of the other options first.